Remote Monitoring Report

Food insecurity at annual, seasonal low

October 2012

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Not mapped
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Not mapped
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Chronic food insecurity in Yemen is high, particularly in the western and southern lowlands; acute food insecurity due to conflict continues in the South. Despite access constraints, humanitarian assistance over the next six months is assumed to be at a five-year high.

  • July to October rainfall was below average in main cropping areas of western and southern Yemen, driving expectations of below-average national cereal production. 

  • Cereal prices are relatively stable, and labor-to-cereal terms of trade are significantly greater than their levels in January 2012. In general, food access is currently seasonably high. Food access will likely decline seasonably between January and March 2013 and may be slightly below average in the western and southern cropping areas. 

ZONE

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

National

  • FAO projects that national cereal harvests are expected to be 8 percent below last year and 10 percent below the five-year average.

Western and southern cropping areas

  • There are negative anomalies in (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) due to poor rainfall. These anomalies are shrinking in area and severity, which is common toward the end of a below-average season.
  • Localized harvests likely lower than national average.

South (Aden/Abyan)

  • Civil insecurity will remain a constraint to livelihoods and humanitarian operations.

Projected Outlook through March 2013

Information about food security remains difficult to acquire, due in part to a volatile security situation. (March 2011)

National cereal harvests are likely to be 10 percent below the five-year average due to below-average rainfall, particularly in the western highlands and lowlands. The central and eastern agropastoral and pastoral zones may have had better rainfall (see July-September RFE estimates) and may benefit from average to above-average harvests. Despite below-average harvests, labor demand is high as shown by the significant increase in labor-to-cereal terms of trade, which is up more than 60 percent on average since the start of the last lean season in January 2012. The greater concern is that Yemen typically imports 85-90 percent of its foodstuffs. FAO has voiced concerns about Yemen’s capacity to significantly increase cereal imports in response to this year’s slightly below-average harvest due to record-low foreign currency reserves and high global wheat prices. The low level of foreign currency reserves may be partly due to the official, fixed exchange rate, which appears stable since end-2010.

Migration remains a concern in Yemen. In 2012 to date, the flow of migrants from the Horn of Africa toward Yemen continues to exceed previous records by as much as 12 percent. This is less than expected at the start of 2012, but remains a concern as it divides humanitarian attention from the displaced (approximately 460,000) and chronically food-insecure Yemeni population. Among the displaced, over 40 percent of returning IDPs are returning to Abyan, and the rate of discovery of unexploded ordinance and new landmines has decreased significantly since July.

Acute food insecurity in Yemen is significantly better in 2012 than in 2011 due to stable cereal prices (improved civil security reducing supply constraints) and improved purchasing power (improved civil security has improved labor demand). However, chronic food insecurity remains a significant concern. Medium- and long-term interventions to address high background rates of acute malnutrition due to poor care practices and poor access to water (leading to poor health outcomes) are needed, particularly in the coastal lowlands of the south and west. 

About Remote Monitoring

In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics